How long until hair falls out after laser hair removal?

One cosmetic procedure that has become quite popular in the recent years is a thing called laser hair removal. This is a process by which a laser is used to emit light which is then absorbed by the melanin in the hair. This light or light energy is then converted to heat. In turn, the heat damages hair follicles within the skin which is what inhibits or delays hair growth.

While this technology and procedure is by no means new, there are quite a lot of questions and misconceptions going for it. So much so that some potential patients who wish to undergo the process might be hesitant to go for it. For those that are looking in the procedure, we have outlined some important information below that ranges from what to expect from the procedure and tips on finding an excellent laser hair removal machine.

What to Expect from Laser Hair Removal?

As mentioned above previously, the laser hair removal process uses a laser to emit light into the melanin on the hair which then becomes energy that converts to heat and damages the follicles. When done properly on a good candidate, the process will minimise any need to pluck, shave, and wax unwanted hair growth. Once the follicle is permanently damaged, it will be unable to grow new hair.

It is important to note that hair grows at an average of about .5 inches per month and grows in cycles that range from 4-10 weeks. Facial hair just takes about 4 weeks while legs have a longer cycle of 8-10 weeks. It is because of this cycle that experts recommend laser hair removal for several sessions spaced out evenly across several months as well. If somebody promise you that all hair will fall out after one session, that is a scam and it is advised you take your business elsewhere.


The Hair Growth Cycle

To better understand how laser hair removal works and how it will work for you, it’s also important to learn how hair grows. For laser hair removal to work, the hair must be in its growing stage. During this stage, the laser will move through the hair follicle and damage it as intended.

Next, we have the catagen stage which is before the hair naturally falls out- no lasers needed. This is simply something that hair does at some point of its life cycle. Lastly, we have the telogen stage which is also known as the resting stage. This is when the hair doesn’t grow or develop under the skin and cannot be treated by laser hair removal as there is no hair for the laser to emit light onto.

Different people will have different cycles because these stages are dictated by a person’s hormones, age, natural hair growth process etc. Also, each hair follicle isn’t exactly always on the same growth cycle as the ones around it which is why several sessions are needed to really get as much hair as possible treated with laser light.

Some experts will even advice potential clients to wait a full four weeks to start treatment if they have undergone waxing procedures or have shaved. This is to ensure there is enough hair for the laser to work on.

hair growth cycle

Expectations from Laser Hair Removal

After completing the laser hair removal using the Bareskin Kit, the hair follicles will start to come out within a range of 7-30 days. This is the part where some people may panic or assume that the procedure failed to work because of the redness and ingrown hair-like bumps that appear on the treated areas. It hasn’t failed at all but rather, the body is simply pushing hair right out of the follicle and sometimes, it gets trapped.

Should hair growth occur at this point, using tweezers to pluck them out is not recommended. The dead hairs can be dealt with using a good but gentle scrub and cortisone will help with any redness or irritation. The hairs, no matter what length, are expected to fall out but if they aren’t, the body will work to expel them naturally.

Patience is indeed a virtue when getting laser hair removal because it typically takes 5-14 days and may continue to fall out for weeks after.

Post Laser Hair Removal Tips

While you are patiently waiting out the 5-14 days period for the hair on the treated area to fall out, there are quite a few things you can do to ensure that you are comfortable. Some of them include:

  • Do not pick, pluck, squeeze, of tread the area that has just been treated. Be patient as the hair will fall out on its own and doing any of the previously mentioned hair removal might cause irritation.
  • Moisturise the area to keep your skin supple and healthy. It is best to ask your clinic for recommendations on this and they may even carry skin care products especially for post laser hair removal use.
  • If you want to speed up the shedding process between treatments, you can exfoliate but do so gently with a loofah or a washcloth to avoid irritating your skin.
  • Wearing loose cotton clothing after treatments is also recommended as your skin may be a bit tender. It is best to avoid irritating the treated areas.

Make sure you are well-informed and comfortable at all stages of the laser hair removal process. As a customer, you need to be very discerning and make sure that the device that you choose has all the necessary credentials.

Make sure you ask a lot of questions and inquire about post-treatment care and services as well. Another thing you will want to do is ask about the type of lasers they use so you and your service provider can discuss which ones will suit you best and offer you the best and safest results.

If hair removal is something that you are keen on and you want permanent results, the good news is laser hair removal works on all hair lengths. It is also a safe process that will bring you amazing results for extended periods.

This article has been medically reviewed by: Dr. Walters (MD)